This week we’re gearing up for SXSW with one of the performers, Elyse Haren of the band Elyse and the Aftermath. A self-proclaimed “audio geek,” Elyse expresses herself through her music, creating a sound she describes as “honest” and “evocative.” Read on for tips on marketing and promoting your music, find out how Elyse became involved with Daisy Rock Guitar, and learn where you can catch Elyse and the Aftermath live in Austin.
Without using the words “alternative,” “pop,” or “rock,” or “hip-hop,” describe your sound.
Passionate driven honest evocative music
How do you approach recording a song?
I usually make demos in GarageBand or ProTools with my MBox with the guitar or piano, although you can’t argue with the great Voice Memo in my iPhone. Then it goes to Greg Pajer, my guitar partner-in-crime and we make another demo. Then we send it to the rest of the band and have a pre-production rehearsal or two with an engineer or producer before recording. On the day we record, we try to track as much as a live band as possible, to capture the live energy of the band on the recording.
What kind of studio equipment do you use to record?
I love vintage gear and I’m a bit of an audio geek. We just started recording our new EP, The Singles, with a ’63 Fender Amp, a Yamaha CP-70 piano (Peter Gabriel, Keane sounding electric piano), vintage Gretsch Drums, and Nuemann U-47 (The Beatles mic). We’ve been lucky enough to have Mark Needham (The Killers, Green Day, Fleetwood Mac) mix our first album, and his gear and ears are priceless. We’re working on having him mix the new EP also.
How does your creative development change when you’re on the road (writing new music, recording, promoting…)?
I am very creative on the road, but tend to be too busy to demo anything. Usually it’s enough to get from city to city and stay healthy. I write a lot of lyrics while on the road, and when I get back from a tour – that’s where the process begins again. I am active with our social media and marketing, so I love to update from the road and love to make funny tour videos for our fans.
Do you have a marketing budget?
We’ve never had a budget for marketing. I am one woman with a dream and a rock band. We’re lucky to get the music recorded and released. We survive on passion and determination.
Is there usually a set marketing plan you follow when you release new music?
I wish there were a set marketing plan. This time around, we have partnered with Pledge Music & Keep-A-Breast.org for a fundraising campaign for our new EP, with partial proceeds going to Keep-A-Breast.org for cancer research, awareness, and education. The new EP, The Singles, will feature a wish list of producers on each track.
Do you give songs away for free, and do you ever play free shows?
Yes, we are giving away a FREE DOWNLOAD right now actually for my birthday, and to get our Pledge campaign underway: "Novocaine" (Acoustic) Please take a listen!
How do you use social media to promote your music and your shows?
As I said before, the internet - your fans and potential new ones are at your fingertips. We also make flyers and go to the venue and promote a few weeks before our shows. Also, interacting with other bands you like is a great way to promote your music and shows.
How did you get involved in Daisy Rock Guitars?
I initially met Tish Ciravolo and Ron Manus of Daisy Rock in the car rental line at the Austin airport in '09, our first year at SXSW. My bags were lost and I loved Tish's jacket and asked her if I could borrow it for my show, should my bags not arrive. I had no idea she was the owner of Daisy Rock at the time. Months later, we had a meeting and became officially endorsed by them. We are working on launching Daisy Rock TV with interviews and live performance in LA and other cities.
Tell us about your plans for Austin/SXSW.
We are heading to Austin for SXSW for a third year. We are so excited! Last year we had our TuneCore CD release of our self-titled album, The Aftermath, at SXSW. This year we’re playing a few acoustic shows and a couple full-band shows with the Red Gorilla Festival, and a Blue/Green & Ue3 Promotions/440 Artist Alignment Showcase with Pledge Music & Keep-A-Breast. We also have a Daisy Rock Guitar giveaway & Kyser Capos is sponsoring the event with pink capos for breast cancer awareness.
What advice would you give other artists who are trying to get their music heard?
Honestly, write great music and start there. Keep writing and get better at your chosen craft. I still believe great music will get heard.